1. FC Union Berlin earned an another Bundesliga point at home with a 1-1 draw against Freiburg.
Vincenzo Grifo's goal after 34 minutes came as a shock, but it was quickly cancelled out by Robert Andrich's long-range strike, two minutes later.
1. FC Union Berlin: Luthe; Trimmel (Ryerson 80), Knoche, Friedrich, Lenz; Gentner (Griesbeck 70), Andrich; Becker (Endo 70), Kruse, Ingvartsen (Bülter 59); Pohjanpalo (Awoniyi 70)
SC Freiburg: Müller; Günther, Lienhart, Heintz, Höfler; Santamaria (Tempelmann 61), Sallai (Jeong 76), Grifo (Kwon 76), Schmid; Petersen (Demirovic 87), Höler
Two changes were made from last Sunday’s draw at Schalke — Christian Gentner replaced Grischa Prömel (injured) and Marcus Ingvartsen started ahead of Marius Bülter. Loris Karius' injury meant Lennart Moser was handed the second goalkeeping berth on the bench. In accordance with Berlin’s Infection Protection Regulations, 4,500 fans were allowed to be in attendance, but new mask measures were in place from this week. The limited crowd backed the team from the first minute with clapping and using instruments like pans and whistles. Fischer’s team made an excellent start, playing with a fluid and dynamic midfield and attack. Andrich powered his way into the box after four minutes, but Pohjanpalo shot over despite tussling practically on the line with Florian Müller. The Freiburg goalkeeper was the busier of the two, saving from both Andrich and Ingvartsen. A lot of Union’s threatening attacks came from wide-right where Sheraldo Becker had the beating of the vastly-experienced Christian Günther. Pohjanpalo ought to have opened the scoring from Becker’s pin-point delivery, but the Finnish international headed over. Müller parried a long-range effort from the Dutch wide man halfway through the first 45 minutes before Ingvartsen missed the target with a back-post header. Despite the Köpenick club’s committed performance, Freiburg struck against the run of play. The ball was eventually worked right-to-left, the pass finding Grifo who slotted accurately into the opposite corner with the instep of his right-foot. Fortunately, Union’s momentum was not disrupted by the sucker punch and Andrich’s accurate pile driver from 25 yards nestled into Müller’s right-hand corner to level the scores before the break.
During the half-time interval, the club and supporters acknowledged bus driver Sven Weinel, who will end his time at the Alte Försterei after 22 years. The opening minutes were a frenzy, with both teams enjoying promising phases in attack. Becker shot over with his left foot before heading straight at Müller from the penalty spot. Ingvartsen's shot was saved in the build-up to the Dutchman's opportunity. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Andreas Luthe was kept on his toes and denied Lucas Höler from close range. Fischer shuffled things either side of the hour mark with Marius Bülter, Taiwo Awoniyi, Sebastian Griesbeck and Keita Endo getting game time. Endo immediately held the ball in and won a free-kick in a good crossing position. Trimmel delivered and Christian Günther blocked a goalbound volley from Max Kruse with the match entering the final 15 minutes in Köpenick. The captain and Austrian international went down the tunnel 10 minutes early due to injury — Julian Ryerson took his place for the final yards. Four minutes left, Friedrich took matters into his own hands, charging out from the back into the final-third and firing his shot inches over Müller's crossbar. Even with additional time, Union asked the question but were aware how dangerous Freiburg could be on the break, if there was even a hint of complacency in Union's ranks.
Another point for the Köpenick club is good news and there's a long weekend for both fans and players. On Monday November 2 at 20:30, 1. FC Union Berlin will head to TSG Hoffenheim for the first Monday night appearance of the campaign.